25 September 2023

Teachers chalk up new mental health program

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A new program aimed at supporting teachers, principals and early learning professionals address mental health issues in schools has been launched by Beyond Blue.

The program, Be You includes online training and resources, backed by a 70-strong expert staff on the ground.

Chair of Beyond Blue, Julia Gillard said one in seven young people aged between four and 17 had experienced a mental health issue in the past 12 months — approximately 560,000.

“Children spend around 30 hours at schools or in care each week, so educators are confronted with these issues every day,” Ms Gillard said.

“Be You makes it easier for educators to nurture the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people.”

She said half of all lifelong mental health issues emerged before the age of 14.

“We can help change this with prevention and early intervention, and by supporting the amazing principals, teachers and early learning professionals who spend so much time with our children and young people,” Ms Gillard said.

“Providing educators with the tools to foster resilience and social and emotional wellbeing is an investment in everyone’s future because mentally healthy kids learn better.”

Under the program, educators receive flexible training and clear information based on solid research and are offered tips on how to build resilience in children and young people. In addition, they are given advice on how they can support their own wellbeing.

“Educators can claim completion of Be You learning modules towards their professional development,” Ms Gillard said.

She said funded by the Federal Government, Be You is available for free to all 24,000 early learning services, primary and secondary schools in Australia.

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